How dunk star Mason — not Jason! — Plumlee took NYC by storm

Written By kom nampuldu on Jumat, 13 Februari 2015 | 18.18

For basketball fans, All-Star Weekend is seen as a celebration of the sport, a chance for its biggest stars to put on a show with the whole world watching.

But for participants in the weekend's festivities, there is a lot more that goes into it than simply showing up to perform when the lights come on.

Take Mason Plumlee, for example. The Nets' second-year center is one of the league's busier people this weekend, participating in the Rising Stars Challenge Friday and the Slam Dunk Contest Saturday.

His All-Star Weekend, however, began at 7:30 Thursday morning, when Plumlee got picked up at his apartment to begin a day full of appearances — with a bit of basketball mixed in — to kick off the NBA taking over New York this weekend.

After a lengthy commute through morning rush-hour traffic, he arrived at Fox 5's studios on the Upper East Side at 9:15 a.m. to appear on "Good Day New York."

Following a brief interview session, the hosts brought Plumlee to a makeshift basket set up in the corner of the studio, where they had him do the thing he's least comfortable with: shoot free throws.

As Plumlee left the studio and walked outside, a fan asked him for a pair of autographs, then thanked him by offering a pair of ideas how to celebrate his dunks Saturday night.

"You should rip off your jersey and have a 'Mase In Your Face!' shirt underneath!" he said, adding Plumlee should shave something into his hair to complete the ensemble.

"Thanks for the suggestions," Plumlee said, smiling and shaking his head as he walked away.

Then Plumlee and several Nets staffers, plus Reggie King, Plumlee's friend since high school, piled into a Ford E-350 to go to the next destination. After a pit stop at McDonalds for breakfast, where Plumlee treated his "entourage," as he jokingly called it, he arrived at the Moynihan Station NBA House location for an American Express event. There Plumlee got a chance to look at an interactive commercial he shot for the company, then did a series of promotional interviews before heading to his next stop around noon.

Because of his busy schedule, Plumlee spent time trying to get multiple things accomplished at once. Back in the van on his way to one stop — another promotional event for Sprite with fellow contestant Zach LaVine — Plumlee was on the phone with league officials negotiating about a particular dunk he wants to have allowed in the contest.

Mason Plumlee will participate in this Saturday's Slam Dunk Contest at Barclays Center.Photo: NBAE via Getty Images

When told later he's listed as having the longest odds to win (7/1) by Bovada, Plumlee said, "Shock and awe them. That's my plan."

Upon leaving the Sprite event, Plumlee spotted a Home Depot and decided to deviate from his schedule, heading inside for supplies for his dunks Saturday night.

After making a few purchases, Plumlee headed for the door when a worker stopped him.

"Hey, you look just like Jason Plumlee!" the man said.

"Oh, really?" Plumlee replied.

"Wait, you are Jason Plumlee!" the man shouted.

"Yep," Plumlee said, while heading out the door and back to the van, much to the amusement of everyone with him.

After another drive through snarled midday Midtown traffic, Plumlee arrived at the hotel reserved for the players for the weekend, where he went on a whirlwind tour through NBA Entertainment interviews with various media partners, as well as a photo shoot.

Then, after quickly getting checked into his room, Plumlee was hustled to a bus to take him to LIU Brooklyn, where Team USA's portion of practice for the Rising Stars Game began at 5.

That was followed by another interview session, an appearance with LaVine at a nearby Modell's and then a couple hours of practice for the dunk contest, which was scheduled to wrap up around 9:45 p.m.

At that point, Plumlee wrapped up what had been a 15-hour day — and that's with three more days full of events, with a dose of basketball mixed in, still to go.

"I'm very tired," he said. "I feel like I've answered the same questions 100 times."

One day down, three more to go.


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